If you are truly passionate about your work, the rest will come naturally. For California native and big-wave specialist Derek Dunfee, the sentiment couldn’t prove more true.
Throughout Derek’s career, the search for less than inviting waves has left him wanting to document the times through his own eyes. Eyes that know what it like to be on both ends of the camera and everywhere in between. So with such a deep rooted entanglement with the love of what he does, Dunfee has since pursued his photography more intently. Below is just a preview of some of his favorite shots, along with captions from Derek himself – surfer, photographer and a man who’s work truly encapsulates what he enjoys doing best.
Sunrise paddle out to Mavericks with Zach Wormhoudt. Zach is an OG Mavericks surfer/local, He’s been surfing there since the early nineties. He still charges really hard and surfs Mavericks every swell when he’s not building skateparks.
Big Ben Wilkinson with his newborn baby at the Old Princeton Landing Restaurant/Bar. Ben lives in Hawaii, but was in California for a big Mavericks swell. Ben has a big heart and I’ve been lucky enough to chase a lot of big swells with him over the past 10 years.
El Nino storms slamming the windows at the Marine room Restaurant in La Jolla Ca. I really wanted to capture this photo this winter. If you look closely, The couple was drinking wine and having a laugh at the big waves. The waves were big and I was nervous standing next to the glass, but none of the customers were flinching or seem to be scared.
Greg Long shortly after having a good heat in the Titans of Mavericks event. He just caught a wave that earned him the best drop of the event award.
This photo is from the Titans of Mavericks contest afterparty in Half moon Bay. Matt’s been charging hard at Mavericks the past few years, I am pretty sure he moved to Half Moon bay just to surf Mavericks.
This is one of my favorite water photos. Mavericks is always terrifying, but this day was sunny and glassy; Maybe slightly more inviting. I caught a few fun waves, so I grabbed my camera. I was focused on shooting the surfer taking off deep, and I didn’t notice the guy trying to snake him. The guy on the shoulder didn’t see me until the last minute, and he yelled something because he was upset I was in his way. I love how the fisheye shows how vertical the drop can be at Mavericks.
Nic Lamb celebrating his win at the Titans of Mavericks event. He just found out he won the event and was going nuts. Before Nic’s heat, he was a little sea sick and asked me to put his fins and leash on his big wave surfboard.